Retaining Virat Kohli was an obvious choice but no one had predicted that Royal Challengers Bangalore will spend Rs 17 crore on the Indian skipper, making him the most expensive player in the tournament's history.
Retaining Virat Kohli was an obvious choice but no one had predicted that Royal Challengers Bangalore will spend Rs 17 crore on the Indian skipper, making him the most expensive player in the tournament’s history. Virat, who was signed by RCB in the very first season as an Under-19 player, has represented them in every season, moving up the ranks. As per the guidelines by the IPL governing council, the purse that one spends for retention of three capped players was Rs 15 crore for Player 1, Rs 11 crore for Player 2 and Rs 7 crore for Player 3 while for two retentions – it was Rs 12.5 crore for Player 1 and Rs 8.5 crore for player 2. However, for Virat Kohli, the retention was Rs 17 crore, which incidentally is his league fee.
This not only meant that the Indian captain left his teammates Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Rohit Sharma behind (both were retained for Rs 15 crore) but also went past Ben Stokes who was bought by the now dysfunctional Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) for a whopping cost of Rs 14.5 crore.
Besides spending on Kohli, RCB also retained South Africa’s AB de Villiers and young Sarfaraz Khan who was a surprise pick, leaving experienced campaigners like Chris Gayle and KL Rahul in the auction pool.
Talking about these choices, Amrit Thomas, Chief Marketing Officer – Diageo India / Chairman of Royal Challengers Bangalore said that while Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers were obvious choices, the management believes that Sarafaraz is a player for the future and will rise to great heights.
“For the 11th season of IPL, we are pleased to retain Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Sarfaraz Khan. Virat has been a part of Royal Challengers Bangalore since the inception of the league, and is the team’s captain – on and off the field. The camaraderie and team work between Virat and AB de Villiers has been the backbone of the team for several seasons and we want to build on that. Sarfaraz is one of the players we believe will rise to great heights, not just in the IPL but in world cricket. We believe that together, Virat, AB de Villers and Sarfaraz embody the ‘play bold and fearless’ outlook that is inherent in RCB, and we are excited to retain them for IPL 2018,” he said.